Self Coaching for Managers

Performance tracking and accountability is a big part of our success in business, regardless of what trade you're in or what industry you serve. Most of us invest a substantial amount of both money and time in training, coaching, and profit tools to help our front line succeed. An effective training and communication program is a big commitment from you as a leader. It's also one that you can't ignore.

Our industries are getting more and more competitive. Education is a simple Google click away and the recession helped displace a lot of people that found themselves "hanging their shingle" and becoming our competition. We see this in our own market that we operate in, as well as every market we have clients. The landscape is what it is; the only thing we can truly control is what happens within that landscape that is in our control.

How our front line team impacts our customers has everything to do with our success. If you've been following me for any length of time, you know that I believe in training our front line team and providing the tools necessary for them to succeed.

We must make sure we're doing the same for our managers or front line coaches. There's been some buzz over the last few years in leadership circles about a concept called self coaching. I think this is an important topic we must pay attention to and utilize ourselves.

So how on earth do you go about coaching yourself?

Start with some effective questions to yourself on a daily or weekly basis. This frequency will depend on your schedule and scope of work, but I like the reflective questions to be put to use on a daily basis whenever at all possible.

How effective have I been this past ___________ ? (day, week, month, or whatever)

What specifically do I need to change in my behavior to increase my influence?

What does my team need from me that I'm not providing them?

Where has my time been spent that has made the biggest difference?

Where could I better invest my time to get the results I desire?

These are a few that I like, but you can ask whatever you want in whatever format you like. Self coaching is a phenomenal tool, but you must be able to remain objective with yourself and not use too many "softeners" about what's real.

For instance:

Q: How effective have I been this past week?

A: Well we're missing the sales goal, but one of my techs was out sick and we didn't get help from the weather that we needed to make the mark. Oh well, there's always next week....

No, there's not always next week. The only week we know we have is happening right now my friend! On the other hand, don't "kick your own butt" either. I've seen owners and managers answer this same question like this:

A: Man, I suck at this job. I knew I couldn't do this effectively. I should've listened to Mr. Ryan, my fourth grade teacher that reminded me I'd never amount to anything....

This response is just the beginning. You can kick your own butt for sentences on end! Don't do that either. Remain objective. Don't get over emotional. There's no such thing as failure, there are only results, so you either get a result you want, or you don't. Period.

However, all too often owners and managers don't take the time or responsibility to ask themselves some reflective questions regarding their performance. I see this as an opportunity for us all to become even more effective than we already are by inspecting our own performance on a daily basis.

We inspect our front line team all the time for behavior, effectiveness, results, attitude, appearance, etc.

Isn't it only right that we do the same with ourselves?

Have a better than fantastic weekend!



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